Wednesday 16 April 2014


Reader Branwen knows that some plants are useful as well as pretty... let's go foraging!

Branwen says:
I belong to the Junior Leaders Adventure Corps which teaches military skills to young people and runs camps and events around the country; we've been learning survival skills, and I've been doing a project on wild plants you can eat! I went out foraging with my dog Wookiee...

What's up Doc? Nettles can be a bit stingy - wrap something around your hands before picking for nettle soup, though dock leaves should be growing nearby to ease the ouch! Use young nettles and treat as spinach... the resulting soup is rich in iron! Dandelion leaves can be found in the garden and are great in salad... Easter bunnies like them, too! They used to be made into a drink with Burdock root, too. Ask your granddad if he remembers it!

Mushroom Red Alert! Never pick mushrooms to eat unless you are with a real expert - don't trust someone who has watched a programme on TV, mushrooms can be hard to identify correctly and some are very poisonous. It's not just the red spotted ones you need to be careful of - even innocent looking mushrooms can be a danger. You CAN pick wild blackberries, strawberries and raspberries but BEWARE - if you don't know, don't eat. Some berries are poisonous. Yuck!

Flower Power! Try identifying flowers and plants in the woods or in your garden. There are lots of primroses around at the moment - you can eat the flowers, and they look really pretty as decorations on an Easter cake! Not brilliant if you're starving, though... definitely a 'light' meal! If you're not sure about eating wild flowers like primroses, try planting nasturtium seeds - for summer salads - the leaves are peppery and the bright orange-yellow flowers can be added to the salad too! For Easter, why not decorate a basket with flowers? Perfect for collecting eggs!

Cathy says:
I loved reading Branwen's post - I have made nettle soup myself, and it's ALMOST worth the stings! It's best made in early Spring before the nettles get too tough and stingy, and it's great with a little cream stirred in! I also loved collecting blackberries and raspberries from the hedgerows when we lived in the Scottish countryside... great for making Summer pudding or fruit crumbles. I agree about being ultra-cafeful with mushrooms and berries, though - better safe than sorry! And I have primroses in my garden at the moment... I will definitely be using Branwen's idea and using some to decorate an Easter cake!

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  2. I'm not a big fan of creepy crawlies or dirt but I like all the birds that come in and out of our back yard I also like watching all the frogs in our pond and once we had a little field mouse in our hedge that separates our garden from our next door nabors garden (we found it dead under our storage container after a couple of weeks and it's got a little grave because my sister said and I quote he is so cute you can't put him in the bin I want to berry him)

  3. what would happen if you ate a poisonous thing?
    p.s I am cathys biggest fan because I have all the books, all the activity books and I have even made a calendar about her and a book about cathy with 59 pages
    I have also made a film about the chocolate box girls with my sister!

  4. I love cathy cassdy becase she is the bestest orther ever!
    I love her soo much that I have ethry book as an ordio book



Reader Emily, aged ten, explains how a Cathy Cassidy book inspired her to raise money for a refugee charity... Emily says: The Cathy Cassidy...